Suggestions for Improving Reading Fluency (grades 3-7)

Would any teachers be willing to share ideas for improving reading fluency with students in grades 3-7? Our school currently uses the Guided Reading program of Reading Plus and Read Naturally (Master's Edition). I'm looking for more creative/fun ways to improve fluency (reader's theater with costumes, perhaps?)

Tags: fluency, reading, reading_fluency

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Make podcasts! Our sixth graders record themselves reading short stories aloud using Audacity and we distribute them via our website.

I have a rubric and a rehearsal schedule they are to complete and turn in. Let me correct that--the sheet and they call what they are doing "rehearsal" before they are ready to podcast. I call it repeated readings of the same material that is written at their independent reading level when I'm discussing the project with administrators.

You can have as much fun as you can think of with this. This year we did folk tales and illustrated some of them by importing the mp3 into Movie Maker. We've done radio shows with sound effects in the past. We did press conferences for famous folks one year. It is a great end of year project, since we pull all the metacognitive reading strategies we teach into it as well.

Sarah, would you put a link for your website here so that we might check out what it all looks like and sounds like? Thanks.
Sure--Here's the link. I've gotten 19 out of 72 up so far ;)

I'm trying a new distribution site this year, I'd really like to know how it works (too slow, etc).


I tried one and it indicated that the file was 41 Mb. Maybe you need to convert .wav or .aiff to mp3s. Too big for me to consider for home 'viewing' on my internet scheme. Are they really that large?
We just did podcasts as passengers who were on the Titanic. (Click on the name and the click on the podcast icon). It was our first effort, we used Audacity, too. It was so easy. You did need to d/l an encoder to convert the Audacity files to Mp3.
They really are too big. Most of the students just want their to share their own with family, and downloading one via iTunes just takes a few minutes. They are between 5 and 7 minutes each, with pictures. When we just use sound, they are very manageable. This year's group went nuts drawing original art and finding photographs on their own time, so of course, I had to scan them in and make video podcasts. This was clearly a tactical error. I have been using quicktime to compress them, but . . .

On campus, they are great.
Good idea! I think I will try to incorporate this into my world history class. Thanks, -Ricardo
This is my suggestion. Tested and lots of research yet still so few educational organizations will espouse or enact. Karaoke.

Yes, karaoke. And the kids actually making the reading material for presentation and sharing -- a la web 2.0 and user generated content.

Not only with a karaoke editor that even a 7 year old can understand, can they learn whole language phonics and foster great decoding skills, they can view/use material that is THEIRS. (I have many more articles and much more research)

What I'm suggesting is to use the karafun player. Editor comes with the free download and join our Karaoke group (classroom) on EFL Classroom 2.0 to learn more. Or click the karaoke page and watch me make a karaoke and also download the player there...

The students can make their fav. songs, share and in all this -- read, be reading and be picking up invaluable reading skills. Try it. I have all our hundreds upon hundreds of karaoke in youtube format but they are better in the original and can be downloaded on site at EFL Classroom 2.0 . Here's a sample....made by a 12 year old! /See this article attached for good info. also....

Your students will learn to read by learning to DO. A very Deweyian view but I stand by it.
Also, just found this from an old workshop I did....

Thanks David. I've often wondered what my morning singing might do for my children's reading. We have 5-10 mins each day of the year, which does not compare with 30 mins 3x each week, but there's still plenty of words up there on the OHP that they get to sing over and over. It certainly is a safe way of learning for my ESL children, some of whom have not spoken English before this year. (I'm teaching in Azerbaijan)
Wow! David, I love this!
I love this idea. Thanks for sharing it. It never would have occurred to me that Karaoke could improve reading, but now it makes sense.
Love it!

I give workshops on this in Asia and one great thing is being able to slow the tempo of the audio input + also turn off the audio and have children read to speed....they produce the sound/reading with a microphone. Really promotes attention and instinctive learning....

Here and there in America, there are some studies which show great results in many at risk neighbourhoods.....




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